The common theme of interaction with friends these days can be summed up in one word, “Busy.” We are connected to our phones at least 16 hours per day. Constant texts (the average person sends and receives 130+ texts per day). Constant emails (I clear off 75-100 each day). Phone calls that can get through to me each day. Apps that seem to make our life easier, but take up more of our time each day when we are using the apps. This is just one apparatus that takes time from our schedule and contributes to our busyness.
Deadlines in our work experience can blind us to the important priorities of life. Completing proposals. Fixing relational problems. Completing tasks. Calling on new clients. These are a small sample of work necessities of life that zap our energy and take a bite out of our schedules.
There is also all the busyness of running a home and family. Bills to pay. Chauffeuring children. Doing meals. Cleaning dishes. Doing laundry. Cutting the grass. Fixing the cars. Dusting the house. Vacuuming the rugs. Meeting laborers at our house to fix the water heater. Cleaning up after the kids-others. Doing the same things the next day. The list goes on and on.
What about friends that want to get together. “Let’s get together soon.” “We need to set up a time to have lunch soon.” “I’ll give you a call to get together.” All of these statements can be sincere, but the action and completion of our desires fall between the cracks of our busyness.
It was during my reading through the bible that I stumbled onto a passage that caught my attention. Jesus is speaking when He says, “At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’ “But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, ‘I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.’ “Another said, ‘I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.’ “Still another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’ “The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.’”Sir,’ the servant said, ‘what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.’ “Then the master told his servant, ‘Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full. I tell you, not one of those who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.’ ”Luke 14:17-24 NIV
Jesus in this passage came upon the same issue we face today. There are three different excuses that people were making which stop us from really connecting with God and with others. The first excuse centers around our possessions. The person had bought a field and prioritized his/her possessions over having a connection with the Master. The second excuse centered around prioritizing work (working the oxen) over spending time with the Master. The third excuse involved putting priority on our earthy relationships (just getting married and needing time with the spouse) over spending time with the Lord.
On this journey I have been given the time to do a makeover for my bad choices of the past of prioritizing possessions, work, and relationships over the Lord. Fortunately I have the opportunity before it is too late to make Him my most important priority. It is a daily choice that I need to make on this journey.